Eye On Boise

Senate debate on ultrasound bill: 'Needed for women's rights and dignity'

Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, urges senators Monday to back SB 1387, requiring an ultrasound before any Idaho woman could have an abortion. (Betsy Russell)
Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, urges senators Monday to back SB 1387, requiring an ultrasound before any Idaho woman could have an abortion. (Betsy Russell)

Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, addressing questions about why SB 1387 would require a rape or incest victim to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, told the Senate that a third of rape victims "keep their babies, well not keep their babies, but give life to their babies." She compared the bill to recently passed legislation requiring information about the manufacture of honey that's sold in the state. "Here we require information about food. Why can't we require information about woman?" Nuxoll asked the Senate. She said, "This bill is needed for women's rights and dignity."

Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said, "The absence of an exclusion for victims of rape, incest or medical emergencies disturbs me. A mandated medical procedure would be a second assault on these victims." She also said the bill conflicts with the Idaho Medical Consent Act. Stennett said she researched state-mandated medical procedures, and could only find a forced blood draw in certain DUI cases and lethal injection for execution. "Senators, with this bill we treat a woman like a criminal before she takes any action," she said. "SB 1387 takes the decision away from the woman and places it in the hands of the state."

Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, said, "Those are important rights, but we're also talking about another right, and that is the right to life." He said, "I cannot see a point other than conception at which I can determine that life begins." Quoting from "Horton Hears a Who," Rice said, "A person is a person, no matter how small."
 




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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